Just another web development blog

Added a font & set up Sass while at it


Since I dedicated myself to logging how I'm setting up this blog, here's how I proceeded to pick and install a font.

Picking the font

As I tackle designing things in the browser (I love to skip any steps that don't seem convincingly essential), one big headache for me is picking a font. Luckily, I found the following resources to pick or test fonts:

Fonts in use

Fonts in use looks cool, but I want to spend little time here and this looks more like design research. Skipping this for now.


FontPair is great for picking pairs that click together. It's divided in combinations of Serif, Sans-Serif, Display, and Monospace. They also have a Featured pairs section for easy picking.


FontJoy is a joy. It's great when you have something in mind, and want to either test how it looks, or test pairings with it. It displays a heading, a subheading, and body text, and you can set the font for each one. It also offers pairing recommendations for the chosen font, and it can toggle light or dark mode. I ended up using this one to test any font I liked.

Applying the font

So, how do I apply the font I choose to my blog?

Hosting the font

Many might scream the following:

<link href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css2?family=MyFavFont:wght@100;400;600&display=swap" rel="stylesheet"> 

I am, however, building this blog by hand for several reasons. One being that I don't like giving away metrics on my sites without my explicit consent. I don't know what Google measures when I embed their fonts, so there.
Another reason is that I like things to be minimal and simple. A dependency for something as simple as a font won't help there. Luckily, more people feel the same about this, so I ended up using google-webfonts-helper to download and self-host what I need.

A more in-depth explainer on this matter can be found here: How to Self-Host Google Fonts on Your Own Server

Displaying the font

So, having my font files ready, I'll need to use some CSS to apply the font to my pages. I could use plain CSS, but I like to use SCSS features to at least nest BEM classnames and package things with @import.
I've found plenty of resources to build SASS in my eleventy project, but none seemed so light and lean as Duncan's gem of a guide.
I did deviate from the guide in one ascpect: I'm rendering the CSS directly into the _site directory, since I want to share my CSS over all pages.


So, I got me a font. It's usually the hardest thing for me to pick, so I decided to pick one up front and build the rest of the UI around it.
You might have noticed that I decided on Palaquin. I like how it's both serious and elegant. It doesn't come with an italig style, but luckily browsers manage to simulate this.